Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were invited to join the president, first lady Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner on the visit, but all declined, CNN reports.
McConnell and Ryan both said they had scheduling conflicts, which White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said was understandable.
“The horrific tragedy in Pittsburgh is not a political event and out of respect, the President extended a bipartisan invitation to Congressional Leadership to travel with him to Pennsylvania,” Sanders said in a statement.
“Understandably, the members had prior commitments or wanted to show their respect in a private way.”
Trump also offered to meet with the loved ones of Daniel Stein — a 71-year-old who’d just become a grandpa when he was killed in the massacre alongside 10 other worshipers — but his family said no, according to the Post Gazette.
The rejection was in part due to comments the president made in the wake of Saturday’s attack, when he said an armed guard might have been able to stop alleged gunman Robert Bowers, Stein’s nephew told the paper.
“Everybody feels that they were inappropriate,” Stephen Halle said. “He was blaming the community.”
Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey also declined to join Trump on the visit due to a previous commitment, while Democratic Sen. Bob Casey was not invited, according to CNN.